Imagine that your body has a battery, what would it be like? Are you like the energiser bunny that never goes out of energy for the things you need and wants to do? If yes, then good for you. But if you always feel drained, you may need to recharge with Vitamin B12, or what we call as the “energy vitamin”.
Vitamin B12 is a water soluble vitamin that belongs to the B complex family. Also known as cobalamin, this nutrient influences the body’s ability to create the DNA of new cells, form new Red Blood Cells (RBCs), and convert food into energy to supply power to all organs and body processes. Unfortunately, these important functions of Vitamin B12 are often overlooked.
The best food sources of Vitamin B12 are clams, oysters, mussels, beef liver, mackerel, tuna, sardines, salmon, trout, crabs, soy products like tofu and soy milk, cereals, beef, skim milk, cheese, and eggs. When these foods are not in your daily meal plan, you are probably at risk for Vitamin B12 deficiency.
Those who are taking aspirin, metformin for diabetes, and proton pump inhibitors for heartburn are also prone low Vitamin B12 levels. For many individuals who are already deficient or at higher risk of deficiency, taking Vitamin B supplements can be immediate solution. There are tablets, capsules, lozenges, and patches, so you can choose what form of supplement will suit your needs.
Why should you worry about not getting enough Vitamin B12? In short term, Vitamin B12 deficiency is characterised by symptoms that prevents you from performing at your full potential. Signs that you are Vitamin B12 deficient include severe fatigue, mental exhaustion, dementia-like symptoms, and mood changes. When left uncorrected, it can lead to permanent damage to the nerves so it is very important to diagnose in its early stage.
The primary use of the energy vitamin is to help the body with metabolism, where foods like carbohydrates, proteins, and fats into energy. This energy then is used to power the heart, muscles, brain, and nerves to work and maintain the body’s normal processes for overall wellbeing. Having enough Vitamin B12 either from the diet or from supplements allows the body to metabolise more fats, proteins, and carbohydrates for more energy production.
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